Exclusive: Rogue Governors risk being barred from contesting 2017 polls

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o
Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o. PHOTO/FILE

A Parliamentary committee has warned that it might be forced to bar rogue governors from contesting in the next general election due to poor management of public finances at the County level.

According to the Senate’s Public Accounts and Investment Committee, Governors who have grossly violated the law and by extension found to have siphoned public funds to their own use, will be barred from contesting in the next general election.

“We can even recommended to the EACC that some individuals be barred from holding public office according to Article 6,” Said Nyamira Senator Mong’are.

The Senators now say they will rely on the Auditor General’s report as well the report of the controller of budget to rank counties in a bid to “name and shame” governors who have not been able to account for billions of shillings allocated to them.

“We shall be doing ranking of this counties by the 28th of this month when we shall be doing our report, so that Kenyans can get to see the bigger picture,” Said Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.

“We shall also give you the Model County, as well as counties that have done poorly in the first year of devolution,” Wamatangi added.

The committee that is currently working under intense pressure to conclude grilling of counties, says it has be faced with a mirage of challenges, but their greater headache is what Nyamira Senator Okong’o Mong’are termed as “arrogance” amongst governors.

So far, about thirty governors have not submitted their conclusive financial books for scrutiny by the senate’s watchdog committee.

PAIC vice chair and West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo, told Citizen TV that the committee is grappling with a backlog of audit queries that must be concluded before end of the month, citing a case where the committee’s work stalled for eight months due to a case filed by governors questioning the legality of the Senate Committee.

“Even if they hide in the caves called courts, we shall find them for example Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, he has refused to come completely and now Kakamega cannot account for Sh. 1.5 Billion public money,” Lonyangapuo said.

So far,the committee has only met 15 out of the 47 county assemblies against the backdrop of their tight deadline of 9th of September when it is supposed to compile a report.

“We are forced to work overtime scheduling sittings all day even when our colleagues are on recess,” lamented Wamatangi.

The committee is also in silent protest due to consistent absenteeism of some members during all its tripartite sittings a day.

Only few senators find time to attend all the scheduled sittings with some only attending grilling touching their counties. Consequently, the committee is from time to time faced with empty chairs and unattended documents meant for individual senators.

Out of the 12 committee members an average of three to five Senators sit on daily basis, since the committee only requires a quorum of three members to sit.

“…Senator Martha is in Rio Brazil and she went for the Olympics, the chairman is in Kisii for some function,” said Lonyangapuo who defended his colleagues.

Several counties have been put on the spot over procurement rules with nearly all counties having serious audit queries on their tendering procedures.

The ‘list of shame’ will be tabled before the Senate next month for debate.

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Story By Stephen Letoo
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